The five-star hotel founded by Swiss monks
In 1840 the hot spring waters that gush forth at a constant temperature of 36.5°C at an elevation of 639 metres in the Tamina gorge were channelled via a 4 km conduit directly to Hof Ragaz, a hospitality structure opened in Bad Ragaz (Swiss «Heidiland») in a building constructed in 1774 for the Governor of the monastery of Pfäfers (it was the monks who discovered the springs back in 1242 and realised the healing properties of the waters). This event triggered the subsequent growth of Hof Ragaz, attracting nobility and the rich and famous from all over Europe. Over the following two centuries, growing demands made it necessary to carry out frequent modernisation work and construct new buildings. Today the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a high-level five-star complex consisting of a number of buildings set in 500,000 square metres of grounds and offering everything that a demanding clientele might wish for. It comprises the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, the To B. Wellbeing & Spa area (5,500 sq.m of wellness equipment, indoor thermal swimming pool at 34°C, outdoor swimming pool at 27°C), the Medical Health Centre (a staff of 70 including 9 specialist doctors and 29 therapists), the Kursaal Business & Events Centre (8 meeting rooms with a seating capacity of up to 300), the Tamina Therme (7,300 sq.m with several indoor and outdoor swimming pools at various temperatures, waterfall, canal and a full range of thermal equipment), the Golf Club Bad Ragaz (one 18-hole and one 9-hole green) and last but not least the Casino. The latest major work was carried out between 2006 and 2009 for an investment of 100 million euro. This involved total renovation of the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz (which incorporates the original 1774 building) and the historic Kursaal, partial transformation of the medical centre and wellness area, total reconstruction of the Tamina spa and construction of a new tower building. Given the heterogeneous nature of the work, several different architects were commissioned. The project for the Tamina spa was assigned to the practice Smolenicky & Partners, which created a boldly designed building with large oval windows. The completely open interiors stand out for the symmetric arrangement of the modules. The high ceilings are sustained by a forest of ultra-white spruce wood columns. The project for the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz and the To B. Wellbeing & Spa was assigned to the practice Jon Ritter Architektur, while Hilmer, Sattler & Albrecht were commissioned to design the new Spa Tower, an ultra-modern nine-floor square-plan building. This contains 55 Spa Lofts and Suites with floor spaces of between 60 and 87 square metres, equipped with thermal whirlpool baths, steam baths and saunas. In the attic, an astonishing 440 sq.m Penthouse Suite (to which a Spa Loft Superior can be added to create a total space of 560 sq.m) offers guests unimaginable luxury and relaxation. The cladding of the external facades with large-format stone-effect porcelain tile sheets from ImolaCeramica’s Maxima collection allowed the building to blend naturally into the surrounding landscape.